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Discussion Starter #1
I finally have enough equipment that I want to standardize couplers. My layout is focused on switching and yard operations, so having good quality couplers that all work with eachother is critical.

I plan to replace all rolling stock and locomotive couplers with the same type. I have narrowed down my search to Kadee #158 and Sergent Engineering Type E.

At this point, I dont see myself ever taking my equipment to other railroads (none of the clubs around me model my era) and I could always utilize a conversion car if I had to.

I would appreciate any pros or cons to one or the other based on first hand experience.
 

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Personally, I really like the Sergent couplers. They are very realistic looking, they operate more like the real coupler, and the magnetic wand works better than bamboo skewers for uncoupling.
 

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FWIW, this boils down to pure opinion, and virtually everybody has one... bent toward one or the other (or undecided).
There are pros & cons for each, and neither Kadee nor Sergeant has (or lacks) a majority of advantages over the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can both Kadee and Sergeant work together?
No, Sergent Engineering doesnt work with any other coupler. Kadee will work with nearly all couplers.

Does anyone have experience using Sergent Engineering couplers on locomotives, are there any issues with installation?
 

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If the end of a Kadee car is lifted, the Kadee can be lowered into coupled position with a Sergeant.
Lift again for uncoupling.
 

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Does anyone have experience using Sergent Engineering couplers on locomotives, are there any issues with installation?
As far as I know, the major issue with installing Sergeants is the gear box (when it has to be used)... on both rolling stock and locomotives.
 

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I guess I've been misspelling Sergent (at least 3 times).
I auto-defaulted to my Army rank. Sorry.
 

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There's no question the Sergent couplers "look more realistic".

But... for all practical purposes... that seems to be the end of it.
At least for me.

The Kadees are more compatible, and FAR cheaper per unit.
Enough different variations in the product line to fit almost anything (I said, "almost").
They look and work well enough. Very well, in fact.

Kadee set the standard for everyone else, back in the early 60's (or was it earlier than that?).
 

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According to their web-site, Kadee became a company in 1940, and their couplers seem to date back to 1947.....
 

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I say to each their own. As i said earlier, I like the looks and operation of the Sergents.
Yes Kadee's are the "standard", and they are everywhere, but the same could be said for horn hooks.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the input everyone, I do appreciate it.

I think I am going to pick up a few of the Sergent couplers to test them and make sure I like how they operate before investing in a large order.
 

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Huh, no idea there were any other options. I mean kadee's the best right? But lo and behold the Sergent looks very realistic.

One problem I have with all this kind of stuff though, is I can't really see it too much. From say 2 ft or more away which I am just about always at least this far from engines and cars -- I can't see much of the detail. When they are moving, it's all just a blurrrrr.

It never really occurred to me the the kadees were not realistic looking. but I guess compared to the sergents, they only resemble real couplers.

I guess, if i ever run into any sergents, I might buy some just to look at them up close. It's possible I'd be a convert and want to replace all I have but it seems unlikely.

I could see doing one engine, and then a conversion piece of rolling stock on hand if I got real excited by it... (sergent on one end, kadee on the other)

That seems a little unlikely but maybe...
 

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So, if you can't really see them anyway, as you have said, why would you bother....?
 

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FWIW, I've never replaced something I couldn't see very well.
 

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Right. Agree. But like the looks and was not aware of the product. So I'm a little open minded. They appear to need a "wand" to engage and disengage. And on a forum I got the idea there's an issue with supply. Although I could be wrong as I was just skimming. Having said all that it's just a general pt about the labors of the fine detail which appear to me to be invisible much of the time. And so is it worth it.
 

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To some of the "rivet counters", it may be worth it, to other modellers, maybe not.....

For me, Kadees are the best....they just plain work, as well as work with other brands, they are reasonably priced, and have a variety of different couplers that will work on the various equipment out there.....

As for being a slave to detail, what amuses me is the folks who need to have track code that is so prototypical, right down to the height of rail in the thousant of an inch....to run their horn hook Tyco cars on.....:laugh:
 

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I say to each their own. As i said earlier, I like the looks and operation of the Sergents.
I can understand the notion that Seargents are a step closer to the real thing in appearance and operation. But from what I understand, mostly you have to assemble them yourself and I've read that is quite the process that has to be done well or operation is negatively affected.

To me it may make sense if you have a limited roster of equipment, but if you have hundreds of pieces of rolling stock, it could be quiet a hobby in and of itself to get them all outfitted and working well.

Add to that I've also read that the guy who manufactures Seargents is trying to get out of the business so getting product may not be reliable in the future.

Yes Kadee's are the "standard", and they are everywhere, but the same could be said for horn hooks.
Right and horn hooks are in the waste bin everywhere, while Kadee's are on most experienced model railroaders rolling stock. There is a reason for both, but I guess I digress?



So, if you can't really see them anyway, as you have said, why would you bother....?
WTF? Really? I can only speak for myself, and probably 95% of other model train hobbyists and say, BUT you can see'em! As a teen with my early experience with HO, I thought horn hooks looked and worked like crap and was happy to see them go. Heck, I remember watching that Loan Ranger movie with Johnny Depp and there is a long train scene. They invented their own couplers for the train and they looked really weird - there were a number of shots in the movie where you could see them top down. Anyway, Some may not notice how couplers look but I'd think that's the exception.
 
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